Rather than dwell on the negative of having his contract bought out, Danny Briere said he's getting ready for an exciting summer.
The Philadelphia Flyers informed the veteran forward June 20 that it would use one of its compliance buy outs to get out of the final two seasons of the eight-year contract he signed in the summer of 2006.
On Tuesday, the team said it would use its second and final compliance buyout on the contract of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. The buyouts will become official at 11 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
While disappointed to be leaving a team he envisioned ending his career with, Briere told NHL.com Wednesday he's looking forward to the next phase of his career. He'll be free to sign with any of the 29 other teams starting July 5.
"The first few days were really tough," he said, "then you start to think about the possibilities and it becomes really exciting. I'm moving in that territory. I'm very excited about what's looking ahead. I can't wait to decide. When I signed in Philadelphia six years ago I thought this was the end of my contract negotiating as a player. I thought this was going to be my last contract, that I was going to end up playing in Philadelphia and that would be the end. [Now] it's pretty exciting to have another chance to be a free agent again."
Briere won't be able to talk to teams for a few more days, but said he's got a few ideas on what kind of team he wants to play for.
"There's a bunch of things I'm looking for," he said. "Obviously, hopefully a team that has a chance to win, a team that would have a role for me, a team that feels that I could help out. Hopefully a team that I feel I have a fit with, as well. Those are all things that we have to evaluate. At this point it's tough to tell. I'm not really sure where it would be. We have to wait for the teams to be able to talk and see what they see in the future and how they see the situation."
A natural center, he alternated between the middle and the wing during his time in Philadelphia. However, Briere said he would move to the wing full-time if the right fit came along.
"There's all kinds of situations," he said. "There's teams where it might be a good fit but their top two or three centers are really already strong and there's no room there, but it might be a good fit for all the other reasons. I'm not limiting myself to just playing center."
Briere also is a single father to three sons who will continue to live in the Philadelphia suburbs, and while staying close to them would be ideal, he said it won't restrict the teams he considers.
"It might play into it a little bit … if it becomes a decision between teams and I'm not sure and it's similar situations," he said. "Probably not going to factor in right away. I think the most important factor is to see first of all who's interested and we'll go from there."
Briere had the worst season of his career in 2012-13, with six goals and 16 points in 34 games, but he's a four-time 30-goal scorer who has produced at better than a point per game 108 Stanley Cup Playoff games. And at 35 -- he'll turn 36 around the time the 2013-14 season opens -- he believes he's still got a lot left as an NHL player.
"I think I have a little chip on my shoulder because I didn't have a good season last year," he said. "I'm not happy with the way that things turned out. I know I have some hockey left in me. And I feel this was just a bad year. It started with the [wrist] injury when I was in Germany during the lockout and it's like I was never able to catch back up. I started behind the guys and I wasn't able to catch up to it. So there's no doubt, for me that's where the motivation is. I want to show everyone that I'm far from being done, that I can still play."
Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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